Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Mar 22 2015, Page 17

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - March 22, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE 2 O NDREJ PAVELEC could get used to this. He knows better than to take it for granted, but when Winnipeg Jets faithful are chanting “ Pav- vy! Pav- vy!” during a game — as has been the case over the last two contests — even the thick- skinned Czech understands he’s allowed to live in the moment, even if it’s just for a little while. After all, he’s seen it turn the other way just as quickly during his days in Jets colours. Pavelec was outstanding again for the Jets in Saturday night’s 3- 0 blanking of the explosive Washington Capitals, picking up his 17th win of the season and his second shutout of the year. This from a guy who was stapled to the bench for three weeks while Michael Hutchinson yanked the starting goaltender chores away from him before coming out of the bullpen in relief in St. Louis... only to see a late rally snuffed out when he whiffed on a Barret Jackman lob shot from outside the blue- line with 63 seconds remaining. Clearly now that is in the rear- view mirror for everyone, Pavelec included. “ It feels good. Again, two points,” began Pavelec with a shrug afterward. “ We win 3- 0... what do you want me to say? Of course I feel good, but tomorrow is another day and we have to stay focussed and be ready.” Pavelec, as always, was quick to credit the defensive corps in front of him and the work of forwards in their own zone. That team defensive game was especially effective in limiting the dangerous Alex Ovechkin to just two shots on goal, blocking six others. “ You have to make the saves,” said Pavelec. “ I think we played really well defensively the whole game. They had a few chances in the game, but you have to play 60 minutes no matter what and I was happy I was able to stop those pucks because you never know what’s going to happen. “ We didn’t give them space, Ovechkin and those guys can hurt you. We stayed with them, we didn’t give them space, we backchecked really well and that’s the result.” The Jets got some puck luck as the Caps clanged a couple off posts, while Adam Pardy made a big play with Jason Chimera in close, clearing away another chance. “( Pardy) saved a goal,” said Pavelec. “ I was kind of laughing afterward, he was laughing, too. We’ve got the luck now. They hit two posts... sometimes those go in and today they went out. You need that luck, but I think we deserved to win.” Pavelec earned a standing ovation with less than six minutes left, stopping Brooks Laich on a deflection and Mike Green with a glove save in the span of 27 seconds. Asked afterward what his favourite save was in that sequence, he grinned and added: “ All of them. Probably the one that hit my stick. That would have gone in for sure. That ( Green save) it hit my glove, I didn’t have to do anything. I liked all of them.” And back to the crowd chanting his name... Pavelec backstopping the Jets in this latest run and getting love from the fans has an improbable feel to it, given so many wanted to kick him to the curb with Hutchinson’s rise. And what was going through his mind when he heard those chants? “ Of course it’s nice,” he said. “ I would lie if I said it’s not. But I’ve been here for four years, I know how things go. I stay in the middle, don’t get too high. This is what I’m trying to do. It’s nice, but tomorrow or the next game could be a different story. I know how things work here. It’s nice to hear that and the fans have been unbelievable all year long. I enjoy it.” ed. tait@ freepress. mb. ca Twitter: @ WFPEdTait B2 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015 winnipegfreepress. com AFTER BURNER UP NEXT @ OILERS œ MONDAY, MARCH 23 œ 8: 30 P. M. / TSN3 / TSN 1290 SHOTS > 24 Mark Scheifele, 5 Michael Frolik, 4 Blake Wheeler, 3 GOALS Mark Stuart ( 2) Mark Scheifele ( 13) Adam Lowry ( 9) SHOTS > 28 Eric Fehr, 4 Brooks Laich, 3 Matt Niskanen, 3 GOALS None 3 STARS Ondrej PAVELEC He’s become a compelling story in a Jets’ season full of them Mark SCHEIFELE Another twopoint night with a goal, his 13th, and and assist Drew STAFFORD Getting more comfy in Jets colours with every shift d j š š š š š š S KEY PLAY ONDREJ PAVELEC robs Mike Green with a glove save with less than six minutes left to preserve the win. HITS CAPITALS 27 : Tom Wilson, 5 JETS 29 : Jim Slater, 5 ICE- TIME LEADERS CAPITALS: Matt Niskanen — 23: 48 JETS: Jacob Trouba — 24: 23 3 37- 23- 12 0 39- 24- 10 WASHINGTON CAPITALS LOS ANGELES — The Vancouver Canucks found a way to beat the Los Angeles Kings for the first time this season. Their timing couldn’t have been better, with critical standings points up for grabs. Radim Vrbata set up the tying goal by Nick Bonino in the second period and scored the go- ahead goal during a 5- on- 3 power play in the third, leading the Canucks to a 4- 1 victory on Saturday with 25 saves by Eddie Lack. Vancouver earned the victory after losing the first three meetings to the Kings this season and seven of the previous eight overall. The Stanley Cup champion Kings, who could have tied the Canucks for second place in the Pacific Division with a regulation win, have 11 games left on the schedule — including a rematch at Vancouver on Aril 6. “ It was huge,” Lack said. “ The two years I’ve played for this team, we hadn’t won here. You can just take a look at the standings to know the importance of this game. If we would have lost, we would have been tied in points with them — and now we’re four points ahead. So I feel like our chances are very good.” The Kings are in danger of becoming the eighth team in history to miss the playoffs a year after winning the Stanley Cup. “ It’s not a given that you get into the playoffs. You’ve got to work for it,” captain Dustin Brown said. “ We’ve struggled at times this year, but our confidence and our belief hasn’t wavered. We’re still in control of our own destiny. We play a lot of these teams that we’re battling with for a playoff spot, and people expect us to be there. But we have to earn it. Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvath scored unassisted empty- net goals in the final minute. “ The boys played so well in front of me and didn’t give up that many shots. So I felt like once I got the opportunity to shine a little bit, I had to step up,” Lack said. “ I felt like I played awful in my last game, so I just wanted to bounce back and have a good one.” Vrbata put the Canucks ahead 2- 1 at 4: 31 of the third with his 27th goal. Vrbata’s goal came 26 seconds after Tyler Toffoli received a boarding major and game misconduct for crosschecking Alex Burrows into the boards from behind while they were in front of the Kings’ bench. There was about a minute left on Drew Doughty’s slashing penalty at the time. — The Associated Press CANUCKS 4 KINGS 1 Canucks do Jets a solid by finally beating unsteady Kings By Joe Resnick TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg’s Chris Thorburn, Mark Scheifele and Tyler Myers ( right) mob goaltender Ondrej Pavelec after his 28- save shutout Saturday night. Goalie goes from sieve to saviour Fans who jeered Pavs now chant his name By Ed Tait B_ 02_ Mar- 22- 15_ FP_ 01. indd B2 3/ 21/ 15 11: 09: 25 PM

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